Easy DIY window treatment with handmade paper

by Rekha on May 1, 2013

Spring is in the air! At last, we’re starting to enjoy consistently warm temperatures here in New York–and summer is right around the corner.

One of my first projects this spring is to install new window treatments throughout my home. I attended the Architectural Home Digest Show in March, where I discovered (and was inspired by) Smith + Noble’s vibrantly hued and/or printed collection of blinds, shades and curtains.

Ultimately, I’d like to design my own fabric curtains with natural dyes and block print designs, and have been experimenting with hand-dyeing in my home design studio. I just learned that New York’s Textile Arts Center offers an open studio program, offering studio space rentals on an hourly basis–I’ll be heading over there in the near future to spend a few hours experimenting with natural dyes. I’ll be sure to keep you posted when I start this project!

In the meantime, as a temporary design solution, I created a paper window shade using handmade paper. It took just over two hours to complete, and cost as little as $30.

Paper window shades are a perfect temporary solution–tailor-made for rental apartments/homes, sprucing up a vacation home or just to infuse your home with a fresh new look.

1. Measure the length and width of the window(s) and buy enough paper sheets to ensure sufficient coverage. I purchased decorative handmade paper sheets from Pearl River Mart in New York’s Soho.
2. Measure the width of the window and subtract two inches. This will allow the shade to fit the window and allow light to stream in around the edges.
3. Cut the paper down to the desired width. For example, my window measures 57” x 35,” so 35” – 2” = 33”.
4. With a pencil and ruler, lightly mark a line 1” from the edge of the paper. This will serve as your glue line.
5. For the next step, you’ll need Mod Podge–an acid-free brand of glue that also functions as a sealer and finish, and is often used for collage and decoupage. It’s found in most art supply stores such as Utrecht. Using a regular paintbrush, dip it in the Mod Podge container and brush an even coat of glue up to the glue line.
6. Line up the second sheet of paper with the glue line and press firmly. Allow it to dry for a few minutes.
7. Repeat this step with any additional sheets of paper until you reach the desired length. You may need to cut the glued papers down to size in order to fit the length of your window.
8. If you are using printed decorative paper and don’t wish to add a border, your paper window panel is complete.

How to make DIY window treatment

Adding borders

Using paper in a contrasting color or print, cut paper into 2” strips. Apply Mod Podge the same way as you did in step 5. Glue the strips of paper onto the main shade and press firmly.

DIY Window Treatment-Adding Borders
Finishing DIY Window Treatment

I purchased a pre-cut wood strip from Utrecht, added screw eyes and decorative string. Glue the wood strip to the top of the decorative paper shade (using Mod Podge) and voila–you now have a perfect handmade window shade

DIY Window Treatment-Finishing

Whether it’s temporary or permanent you now have a perfect handmade window shade!

DIY Window Treatment with handmade paper

What are some of the DIY projects you’re working on this season? Share with me in the comments below!

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